Crowd Scholar is a registered charity (#1174788) committed to creating a community-led scholarship programme to help high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds attend university.

We strongly believe that exceptional students from disadvantaged backgrounds deserve to be supported, recognised, and encouraged.

We started Crowd Scholar because we believe in education and in people's goodwill. We noticed that there was little support and recognition available for high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds looking to attend university, so we decided to do something about it.

When we though about what kind of charity we wanted to create, we realised there is much about modern charities that can keep individuals from donating to good causes. For example, the use of donations to pay for administrative costs, a lack of transparency, and a disconnect between the donors and the good the charity is doing. At Crowd Scholar, we intend to help disadvantaged students while avoiding these ills.

Crowd Scholar differs from other charities and other crowdfunding platforms in many key respects:

Qualified candidates: All Crowd Scholar students progress through a competitive and holistic application process; you can be sure that your donations are going to those who need and deserve it the most. For more detail on the application process and rigour, check out the student page here.

Depth over breadth: £10,000 towards one student’s education makes a bigger difference than £100 to one hundred students’ educations. By channelling the power of the crowd and donating from a centralised pool of funds, you can be sure that your donations are making a real difference.

Full transparency: Everything we see, you see. This includes candidates’ full applications, the donations received, and how funds are allocated.

No, 100% of the funds we receive go directly towards scholarships.

To honour this pledge, our website includes a page that tracks all donations made to Crowd Scholar. This page is updated daily. When a donation is made, donors can choose to include their name and amount on the page, or keep it anonymous. Either way, donors are able to see that all the funds are being tracked and will be included in the scholarships awarded to our Crowd Scholar winners.

At present, Crowd Scholar's costs are fully covered by the founders. We are are structuring our charity like this because we believe it is the right thing to do and because we want people’s generous donations to only go towards benefiting those that need and deserve it the most. 

In order to become a Crowd Scholar, you must be...

  • ... between 17 and 19 years of age when starting university
  • ... eligible for free school meals
  • ... a resident of the UK at the time of your application
  • ... applying for a scholarship towards an education at a UK university
  • ... planning to start your university education in 2020-21

If you are selected to be a finalist, you will be required to prove that you meet all the aforementioned criteria.

Crowd Scholar’s long-term mission is to provide the winning three Crowd Scholars with scholarships that cover the entirety of their undergraduate tuition fees. At a minimum we guarantee one £5,000 scholarship and one-to-one support for all three winners. Additionally, all eligible applicants can receive free Up Learn licenses, helpful tips and advice on how they can secure funds for attending university through The Scholarship Hub, and more through our partners.

As Crowd Scholar grows over the coming years, we plan to expand our support by utilising our community in various ways. We’ll keep you posted!


The application process is split into two rounds.

The first round requires applicants to complete our application form. At this stage, applicants will be required to provide basic details, write one 500-word essay, one 300-word short answer question, and provide a teacher recommendation.

Applicants that proceed to the second round will be invited to complete a maximum of two thirty-minute Skype interview with one or both of the trustees. Three winners will then be selected. It is for these winners that a centralised pool of scholarship funds is raised. Please note that all application decisions are final and that, if you are selected as a winner, the non-confidential parts of your application (sections two through five) will be shared with potential donors.

As the scholarship covers costs over a three-year period, any funds not immediately used will be placed in long-term deposits. No funds are paid out without clear proof that they are being used to pay for something approved by both trustees. Funds are not to be used at the discretion of the winning scholars.

Yes. While our applicants need to be resident in the UK, we welcome (and encourage!) donations from anywhere in the world!

We are always on the lookout for other people who want to help those in need. If you would like to partner with us, please write to info@crowdscholar.co.uk.

Providing scholarships to exceptional students from disadvantaged backgrounds is core to Crowd Scholar's mission. Therefore, to ensure we help those who need it the most, students that apply to Crowd Scholar must be eligible to receive free school meals (FSM, https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals).

All winning scholars must submit the neccesary FSM documentation as evidence of their current economic situation. 


Gift Aid is a UK government tax relief program that allows charities to claim an extra 25p on every £1 donated.

When Crowd Scholar receives a donation from a UK taxpayer, we are are entitled to claim back an amount of tax paid on that donation. The only thing you need to do is give us permission to do so by ticking the requisite box when you donate.  You must have paid at least as much in Income and/or Capital Gains Tax as the Gift Aid claimed on your donation. 

Crowd Scholar collects the minimum amount of data necessary to keep in accordance with its legal requirements for submitting Gift Aid claims and to communicate with any individuals that have signed up for our newsletter. We also store donation data in order to make good of our commitments to donor transparency. As such, we collect data in accordance with the lawful GDPR bases for processing data of “legal requirement” (Gift Aid), “consent” (newsletter email), and “legitimate interest” (submitted donor information).

Stripe, our payment processor, handles all data linked to payments.

In accordance with GDPR, you have the right to request information about any data we may hold about you and to ask us to delete it if you wish. We are bound to reply to any subject access requests within one month. Please contact info@crowdscholar.co.uk if you wish to get in touch about your data. Furthermore, if you have any concerns over how your data is being held, you have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office.

We never share any data with third parties.


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